Are sadistic sexual acts among couples permissible?
Some married couples like to act out sexual fantasies so they engage in master/slave role playing. This can involve sadism so one party can get hurt. Is this sexual fantasy prohibited or not?
Sadism is the sexual pleasure and gratification that comes from inflicting pain, suffering or humiliation on others. It is named after the French writer Marquis De Sade (1740- 1814) who was known for his erotic and controversial works which included a lot of violent sexual content.
It is well known that harming a partner, psychologically or physically, in a sexual encounter or in any other situation is legally prohibited. God the Almighty says: “Say, My Lord has only forbidden immoralities - what is apparent of them and what is concealed - and sin, and oppression without right, and that you associate with Allah that for which He has not sent down authority, and that you say about Allah that which you do not know" [7:33].
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also said: “Do not inflict harm.” Preservation of the self is one of the major objectives of Islamic law. Renowned Muslim scholars believe that Islamic law with all its variant rulings revolves around preserving the five major objectives of Islamic law i.e. the preservation of life, religion, honor, intellect and property. It was narrated through Abdullah Ibn Abbas that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said during the last sermon in the Farewell pilgrimage: “O people! Your blood, property, and honor are sacrosanct” [Bukhari].
It is lawful for spouses to experiment with the different forms of sex they agree upon. God the Almighty says: “Your wives are a place of sowing of seed for you, so come to your place of cultivation however you wish and put forth [righteousness] for yourselves” [2:223].
All forms of sex are permissible except for anal sex and intercourse during menstruation. God the Almighty says: “And they ask you about menstruation. Say, "It is harm, so keep away from wives during menstruation. And do not approach them until they are pure” [2:222].
Therefore all forms of sex are permissible except those that are forced by one party on the other which might lead to repulsion and repugnance.